The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Administration appreciates program Spoo built

Although members of the administration are juggling vastly different university concerns, they all have one thing in common – they love Eastern football.

Bob Spoo, Eastern football head coach, announced Nov. 22 that he would be retiring after next season. With this announcement, members of the administration agreed that it will be a bittersweet time for the university.

“I appreciate him as a friend through church and school,” said Bob Martin, vice president for university advancement. “Anytime you can have a coach for 25 years and have them produce winners on the field and off the field is incredible. It’s what he does above beyond winning championships that makes him great. He turns his players into leaders.”

Members of the administration agree that mentorship is the fundamental crutch of Spoo’s coaching style.

Spoo’s legacy is already evident in the success of the players who benefited from his coaching and mentoring during the beginning of his Eastern career, said Dan Nadler, vice president for student affairs.

“You can see and hear it from the student athletes that graduated over 10 years ago,” Nadler said. “These individuals have moved on and done remarkable things.”

President Bill Perry said that although he has only been with the university for four years, Spoo has made a significant impression on him. Several memories of Spoo’s career stand out in Perry’s mind.

A few years ago, Spoo fell ill right before an important away game. What Perry recalls about this is Spoo’s determination to be with his team.

“I could tell he wanted to be there,” Perry said. “This is a testament to Spoo’s commitment to the program and being there for his players.”

Another memorable moment that Perry shares with Spoo is when the coach addressed the Panther Marching Band after Barry Houser, acting director of the Panther Marching Band, joined the university.

“He talked about teamwork and being a part of something bigger than themselves,” Perry said. “It was evident the sense of pride that he had for the university.”

Nadler said that over the years, one of his greatest pleasures has been watching Spoo coach from the sidelines.

“Of course, the goal each and every week is to win, but there’s more than winning the game,” Nadler said. “What’s important is that it’s done the right way. There’s no shortcuts to getting a victory and there’s no shortcuts for success.”

Spoo is a man that possesses both honesty and integrity on and off the field, Martin said.

“He seems to be a second father figure to a lot of young men here,” he said.

Perry said he believes that Spoo’s legacy will live on in the integrity and success of Eastern’s football program.

Eastern became a Division I team in the Ohio Valley Conference in 1982. Spoo began his career at Eastern five years later.

Perry said that Spoo’s commitment to the program is what truly established the Panthers as a successful Division I team.

“I think he will be remembered as a coach that really built a strong foundation for excellence in football,” Perry said. “I have great respect for him as an individual.”

Shelley Holmgren can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].

Administration appreciates program Spoo built

Administration appreciates program Spoo built

President Perry walks down the stands at Eastern’s football game against Murray State Oct. 23 at O’Brien Field. (Danny Damiani


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